Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bye bye Most Popular Posts widget!

Screenshot of restyled 2.0 widget in my blog. Those of you who've visited my blog before will know that, until yesterday, AffiliateBrand's Most Popular Posts widget featured prominently near the top of my sidebar. I redesigned the CSS to match my blog when I first added it, and then when they redesigned it with lots of blue graphics I figured out how to entirely rebuild the thing so that it still matched my blog. You can see the tutorials I wrote on how to do it here, here and here.

I really liked the thing - even when it wasn't working properly and was pissing me off. I hung in there, fixed things when the dudes at AffiliateBrand changed stuff and broke (my version of) the widget - and basically I did everything I could to keep it, because I thought it was really clever, interesting and useful.

I don't know how many of you used to refer to it and were encouraged to click on another blog post just 'cos it was listed under "Most Popular", but I know I used to keep quite a close eye on it - just to see at a glance which of my posts you guys were reading...

But it had gotten to the point where my blog was taking 5 minutes to load each time I tried to access it - like, really 5 minutes (not just "30 seconds that feels like 5 minutes online"). Sometimes I'd just give up and go and do something else while my blog was loading. And occasionally I'd look down at the status bar of my browser and it would always read "Waiting for AffiliateBrand"". Bummer.

I imagined how a potential visitor would act if they arrived on my blog via a search engine referral (which many of you do). Give up and go elsewhere, I'm sure - after about 20 seconds (if that!). In fact I'm surprised I'm still getting as many hits as I do - you guys must be pretty patient!

So I've given up. I'm guessing that this particular widget has become too popular for its own good, and that the server just can't handle it any more. Which is a pity, because I really liked it. I also liked the regular visitor stats they sent through, even though I couldn't read the formatting of their emails in Eudora...

Ah well - maybe AffiliateBrand will get a bigger, faster server and it will all be fine again - or maybe I'll find another Most Popular Posts widget somewhere else. We shall see...

Bye bye widget!

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